Adventuring Part 1

Wade, my fiance and I along with some of our closest friends took a camping trip as a pre-celebration for our wedding during the summer.  We met up in the middle at a state park, Lake Ahquabi which is about 30 miles from Des Moines, IA.  This was a good halfway point for us and for our friends traveling from SD.  Wade’s oldest friend Tim even flew from Sacramento to spend time with us.

Lake Ahquabi State Park, IA

Lake Ahquabi State Park, IA

This was my 3rd camping trip and I am happy to say the only one that didn’t end in a flooded tent.  I have wanted to camp for a long time, but until Wade that didn’t really happen, as we start our life together I am looking forward to spending more time adventuring with Wade.

Made a scrambled egg breakfast for my friends in our new Lodge Dutch Oven.

I made a scrambled egg breakfast in our new Lodge Dutch Oven.

Wade’s best friend Tim surprised us with some early wedding gifts, one being a personalized axe and the other a Lodge Dutch Oven. We used both on this trip which was pretty fun for me since I spent time in Graduate School working at a historic site and cooking in dutch ovens and cast iron cookware while wearing an 1845 costume.  This weekend there were fewer layers of material I had to worry about catching on fire.  I really enjoyed cooking in it though and can’t wait to take it out again and find some new recipes to try.

The lake was actually very nice, there were very few motorized boats and a pretty decent sized swimming area and beach.  My friend Caitlin and I rented a tandem Kayak and tooled around the lake while Wade and Tim cruised on their Stand Up Paddle Boards. My friend Mark tried both a kayak and a SUP and Kathy and Aaron swam.  It was a lovely day to be on the water!

We took a 5 mile hike around the lake found some great photo op spots!

We took a 5 mile hike around the lake found some great photo op spots!

Something that I always find interesting is when and where I notice my yoga in my life off my mat.  I notice it when I have to problem solve or deal with tension in my life, but I also notice it when I am outdoors.  I have found in the last few years my appreciation for nature has grown exponentially. The colors, the textures, the sights and smells are even more vivid and there are moments I just want to sit and soak it up.  I find if I have to spend all day indoors I am unhappy, but once I am outside my mood improves.  The sunshine warms my body and I can feel a shift.

Where do you notice your yoga?  Are there moments in your life when it is especially apparent that yoga has altered how you “used to be?”  For me, my Ashtanga practice has really made a difference in my ability to let go in situations that make me stressed.  While this is not something that I always practice or that always happens immediately upon entering a stressful situation  I have noticed a shift.

Sunset Handstands on Lake Ahquabi

Sunset Handstands on Lake Ahquabi

This weekend once again reinforced this for me as I took in the beauty of nature, the friendships I have, and the life I am building with my soon-to-be husband.  I feel extreme gratitude for each of these moments and the part they play in filling the pages of my story.

I’ll leave you with this sunset handstand picture Caitlin took of me on our first night.  The colors, the shadow, the sparkle of the water – it’s all magic.

“I am a great admirer of mystery magic.  Look at this life – all mystery and magic.”

– Harry Houdini

Connect with me on Instagram! @clarissa_mae_

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